Say you have a dream company you’d love to work for, but they’re not currently advertising for any open roles in your field. How can you take steps to get your foot in the door and place yourself in front of a hiring manager, rather than waiting for an open role’s application page to appear online? An alternative method of finding roles (which may not be publicly available yet) is through a letter of interest. This can provide you with an opportunity to let the company know you’d like to work for them, find out about any positions they’re looking to fill, highlight your value, and possibly even keep yourself front-of-mind if any future spots open up. Below, we have some tips on crafting a strong letter of interest, so you can leave a positive impression and potentially put yourself on the inside track to a new job.
Research the company
The goal of a letter of interest is to demonstrate to the reader that you’re the ideal candidate for the company. So before writing your letter, be sure to thoroughly research the company — learn about their mission, goals, business practices, and brand tone. You can find these on their company website, social media, and other output such as press releases, keynote speeches, and more.
Find the right contact
Once you know that you and the company are a right fit for each other, and how best to showcase that, you’ll need to figure out which contact to reach out to. After all, sending to the wrong person could result in all your efforts going unread. First, check to see if you have any connections within the company through LinkedIn, alumni associations, family and friends, or former colleagues. You can also find the appropriate contact by checking the company’s website and LinkedIn page, or even simply calling the company and asking who would be the person responsible for hiring in your prospective department and what would be the best way to reach out to them.
Show how you would add value
As we said before, the goal of a letter of interest is to showcase how you would benefit the company. Demonstrate to the reader that your personality and experience lines up with the company culture and operations. If you’re focusing on a specific role, align your skills and values with that specific position. If you have a more general interest, though, talk about your overarching skills that can be applied to multiple teams.
Keep the letter short and to the point
This is not the place to meander and go on tangents, so you want to get your point across as clearly and concisely as possible, while still being impactful. Here you can employ the same method as with resumes and cover letters — add in keywords found in the company’s website and open job postings, and use powerful action words throughout.
Request an informational interview
End your letter with a call to action, in this case requesting an informational interview. Thank the reader for their time, and explain that you would like to meet up or schedule a call in order to further explore potential career opportunities at the company.
What to include
- Intro paragraph
- Briefly introduce yourself and your purpose for writing — explain that you’re interested in working at the company and why.
- Now that you’ve indicated your interest in the company, it’s time to demonstrate why they should be interested in you as well. Showcase what you bring to the table that will benefit the company culture and business practices.
- Closing paragraph
- End your letter with the call to action, encouraging them to set up a meeting to discuss the company and potential career opportunities.